Everybody is different, everyone has different genes, different metabolic systems, different lifestyles, different activity levels. That is why there is no need and no point in comparing yourself to someone else.
We all have our own ways and methods to control diabetes. To someone that can be their activity levels, to others it can be through diet, to someone else it can be through insulin dosing techniques and T1D technology. We just cannot compare one approach to the other, as everyone has and uses an approach that is unique to them and works uniquely for them only.
I wanted to go through each of the things that we tend to compare ourselves to other people on, and help you extract useful information from other people’s approaches without comparing yourself to their insulin doses, blood sugar levels and lifestyles.
I want to start with diet. What we put into our body to fuel it is a key element of blood sugar management. The “best” choice for one person may absolutely not be the “best” choice for someone else. That is exactly why I started the What Type 1s Eat podcast. We all have our own way to eat to get the blood sugar results we want. Each person has their own food preference, and we all have unique bolus strategies that suit our food choices. Hence, there is no point comparing what you eat to what someone else does, and how one food affects your blood sugars to how that same food affects someone else’s BGs. The key is to find your balance and learn to manage your blood sugars with the foods you love and feel good eating.
The next one is activity levels, which contribute largely to insulin sensitivity and play a huge role in our insulin dosing strategies. It’s so interesting how two T1s can be doing the exact same physical activity, but the levels of one can stay stable and the levels of the other will spike. First of all, each body has its own response to different types of activity. We all have different metabolic processes going on to help support our activity, and those have an impact on our blood sugars. What we do know, is that physical activity is proven to help blood sugar management and decrease insulin resistance for everyone overall. However, doing excessive amounts of cardio or any other type of training to reduce the amount of insulin you use is really not worth it and absolutely unnecessary.
The last one I want to cover is that we all need different tools and different insulin dosing approaches to help us get the most out of our lives with T1D. Pens or pump? Tresiba or Levemir? It all depends on your own personal needs, your lifestyle and what you feel helps you live life to the fullest. There is no right or wrong answer to what tools you should choose, and you should choose the best option for you. However, to make a good choice, you have to try out a few options. You should take the opportunity to try all the tools you are offered by your provider, but then make the choice that sits best with you.
There is never a right or wrong answer, when it comes to T1D management. The right answer for you will not be the right answer for someone else. That is why comparison is counter-productive and focusing on your own needs is the most effective approach to T1D management and living life to the fullest.